As Doctors Lose Clout, Drug Firms Redirect the Sales Call | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
Big health systems are putting distance between their doctors and drug salespeople, making it harder for pharmaceutical companies to get quick acceptance of medicines and putting pressure on profits

As a result, the pharmaceutical industry is shifting its sales efforts from doctors to the institutions they work for. In 2005, drug companies employed about 102,000 U.S. sales representatives, who mostly pitch to doctors. By mid-2014, according to ZS Associates, a consulting firm, their numbers were down to about 63,000.

Stepping in are so-called key-account managers like Ms. French who build relationships with administrators. The 20 biggest drug companies employ roughly 600 key-account managers, three times the number five years ago, according to ZS.